Who We Are

Four women stand next to a purple banner that reads Northern FIRE feminist institute for research and evaluation

Our Vision:

  • to become a dynamic hub for research related to gender and health
  • to welcome researchers, participants, and community members interested in the area

Meet Our Leadership Team

Dawn Hemingway


dawn hemingwayA long-time community activist coming out of the women's liberation, student and political movements of the 1960's, Dawn is a founding member of Northern FIRE/Women North Network: The UNBC Centre for Women's Health Research, Leadership council member of the Health Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the UNBC School of Social Work supervising graduate students in Social Work, Gender Studies, and Health Sciences.

Her main research revolves around the health and wellbeing of women and older adults, especially those living in northern, remote and rural areas. Recent projects include giving voice to health needs and experiences of older northern women, especially those with precarious employment; providing and assessing services that assist older northern adults to stay in their homes; and using arts-based approaches to support women with mental illness in their recovery journey and developing mentoring relationships between older and younger women. Dawn also plays a leadership role in range of  local, regional and provincial community agencies, organizations, and initiatives.

Indrani Margolin


Indrani MargolinDr. Indrani Margolin is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Northern British Columbia in Vancouver at Langara where she helped establish a Vancouver-based Bachelor of Social Work program. She began Clinical Social Work with an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University. After being a Youth and Family Counsellor, Indrani completed her PhD at OISE/University of Toronto in Holistic & Aesthetic Education where she won an award for her dance-based doctoral research. She has been a faculty member with UNBC since 2009. Indrani has developed undergraduate and graduate courses in Alternative Methods to Wellness, Spirituality in Social Work, and Teen Girls. She has also taught at SFU in Contemplative Inquiry and Arts Education.

Indrani incorporates the arts and meditation to illuminate and honour the lives of girls and women. Her research interests include girls’ and women’s wellness; arts-based inquiry; spirituality for social workers and clients; and Mahavakyam Meditation: The Ancient Secrets of Success System. She was on the Recovery and Housing team in the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities, and Mental Health at SFU. Current projects include: the Bodyself project: Creative dance as a path to body-based agency for teen girls recovering from male dating violence, peer mentorship and arts-based research with women in recovery from mental illness, precarious employment for women, and Mahavakyam Meditation for social work students.

Lela Zimmer


Lela ZimmerLela began nursing with a diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Following several years of clinical practice Lela completed a post-diploma BSN degree at UNBC and a PhD in Nursing at the University of Alberta. My clinical practice interests lie in perinatal, women’s health and rural nursing. She has been a faculty member in the UNBC School of Nursing since the fall of 2000, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Since 2006 Lela has also have been the Coordinator of Undergraduate Nursing Programs for the School of Nursing. Her areas of research and scholarship include inter-professional practice; perinatal nursing and midwifery; women’s experiences of healing following gynecological surgery; rural and northern nursing practice and education; relational ethics; and qualitative research approaches.

Jacqueline Holler


Jacquleine HollerDr Jacqueline Holler is Associate Professor of History/Women’s and Gender Studies at UNBC. She has been the Coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies undergraduate and graduate programs since 2004. Dr Holler has a dual research program in both history of gender and contemporary gender studies. In the latter field, she is currently completing a large-scale study of hitchhiking in BC’s North and commencing a study of online sexualities.

Dr Holler teaches introductory gender studies and feminist theory at UNBC, and supervises graduate students in Gender Studies, History, and International Studies. Gender-related themes of interest to Dr Holler include feminism, masculinities, sexuality, and sexual violence. The latest edition of her gender studies textbook (co-authored with Michael Kimmel), is The Gendered Society: Second Canadian Edition (Oxford, 2016). Her most recent publications in the historical field examine sexuality, emotion, and girlhood in colonial Mexico.